Daya Bay battles brash ants
By NG KANG-CHUNG and ELISABETH TACEY
THE Daya Bay nuclear power plant is facing what may be its biggest safety threat yet - the notorious chewing ability of termites.
After chomping down boxes of banknotes in an unnamed Shenzhen bank, white ants were on the rampage through the power plant site, according to a study cited by the Hong Kong China News Agency yesterday.
The study, by the Shenzhen White Ant Prevention and Control Centre, also found that termites had invaded the Shenzhen reservoir - a major source of drinking water for Hong Kong, the report said.
Last year, an electronics factory in Shenzhen had been forced to close for a week after white ants ate parts of the power cables; and in January, a local hotel was blacked out for half a day after the live munching-machines wreaked similar havoc.
The Daya Bay plant has supplied much of Hong Kong's electricity since its opening in February. Its biggest shutdown so far was for a month in July, when water leaked into a generator.
A spokesman for the Shenzhen city government yesterday refused to comment on whether the ants were chewing away the Daya Bay plant, but said the authorities were 'giving proper attention to the problem'.
A spokesman for the plant said the munchers posed no threat because they mostly attacked wood.